This paper will study through some of the diverse ethical issues that can arise within group therapy sessions, such as conflict and confidentiality. While discussing the ethical issues within group counseling we will take note of how these ethical issues may differ and compare to the ethical issues of those within individual counseling sessions. This paper will also discuss reasons why a therapist might choose to lead a group therapy session over individual counseling and vice versa. Throughout this paper you will be accurately informed of the ethical issues surrounding group therapy and individual counseling. As someone just starting out in the counseling field this paper may help to address any questions you had in deciding if leading group therapy is right for you or if you would be better suited for individual counseling.
Ethics in groups
Group counseling includes psychiatric treatment where more than one patient meets together with a therapist at the same time. Some groups are specific to a certain topic or issues that all members with the group are interested in or a problem that they are dealing with such as substance abuse, others may be involved in a group that is more for support such as a support group for parents struggling with children with autism. Groups have different topics but those attending a particular group are all attending for the same reason, they want personal growth. (Jacobs, 2012) Jacobs (2012, p.3) says “Although there is still a place in a community agency for individual counseling, limiting the delivery of services to this model is no longer practical, especially in these tight financial times. Not only do groups let practitioners work with more clients, but the group process is a unique learning advantages.”
Amato (2000) warns therapists to be aware that records may be disclosed directly to patients and that boundary
References: Amato, L. Blasé, C., & Paley, S. (2000). Ethics. American Journal of Art Therapy, 39(1), 12. American Psychological Association. Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (2015). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Association for Specialists in Group Work (2007). Best practice guidelines 2007 revision. Retrieved from http://asgw.org/pdf/Best_Practices.pdf Corey, G., Corey, M., & Haynes, R. (2014). Groups in action: Evolution and challenges (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. ISBN: 9781285095059 Dufrene, R. L., & Herlihy, B. (2011). Current and emerging ethical issues in counseling: a Delphi study of expert opinions. Counseling and Values, 56(1-2), 10+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA271883260&v=2.1&u=vic_liberty&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=74b740b5c19e679f8d116a2ab0baec9a Forsyth, D. (2014). Group dynamics (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. ISBN: 9781133956532 Jacobs, E. E., Masson, R. L., Harvill, R. L., & Schimmel, C. J. (2012). Group counseling:Strategies and skills (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. ISBN: 9780840033932. Jungers, Christin PhD, LPCC-S, NCC. (2012). Counseling ethics Springer Publishing Company. Tenbrunsel, A. E., ebrary, I., & Books24x7, I. (2006). Ethics in groups. Amsterdam: Elsevier JAI.